Clinton-Lewinsky and Paula Jones Scandals
Beginning in 1995 after graduating from college, 21-year-old Monica Lewinsky began working as an intern for President Clinton. Although not discovered until 1998, an alleged sexual relationship between Lewinsky and Clinton began the year Lewinsky began working there. In 1998, Linda Tripp, a friend of Lewinsky, recorded telephone conversations between them in which Lewinsky discussed her relationship with Clinton. Tripp gave the recorded conversation to Kenneth Starr who was already investigating Clinton for other scandals. All the while, Clinton denied any relationship with Lewinsky. In the recorded conversations, Lewinsky told Tripp that Clinton and a legal adviser urged her to lie under oath about a sexual harassment case against Clinton that was filed by former Arkansas coworker Paula Jones. After all this information was discovered, the United States House of Representatives impeached President Clinton on charges of obstruction of justice, two counts of perjury, and abuse of power. Although Clinton was impeached, he was acquitted so he never was forced to leave office. This made Clinton the second president, after Andrew Johnson in 1868, to be impeached.
Whitewater Investment Scandal
In 1978, future president Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary, and two friends, Jim and Susan McDougal bought about 220 acres of land near Flippin, Arkansas to be the future site of the Whitewater Development Corporation which was going to build vacation homes but in 1992, the business venture failed. In the 1980s, Jim McDougal bought and began to run Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan. Soon, federal regulators began to speculate the legality of McDougal’s business. The investigation of McDougal brought about the investigation of the Whitewater land. During his first term in office, President Clinton and his wife began being questioned about the circumstances of Whitewater. Although Clinton was never charged with any crimes due to lack of evidence, it appeared as if he had urged David Hale to make illegal loans to Whitewater business partner Susan McDougal to support their business. Ultimately, there was a lot of uncertainty regarding the events and legality of the Whitewater Development Corporation. The Whitewater events can certainly be categorized as a scandal and with the later discovery of sexual harassment cases and extramarital affairs, Clinton was seen as more than just a politician; his morality and personality characteristics were called into question and examined under the media and the rest of America.
Unlike presidents before him, Bill Clinton's personal affairs were made available to the public. When the American people discussed President Clinton, they were not only considering a politician but as a celebrity-like figure as well. The new age of technology and advances in communication brought about another way to view political candidates that is still used today. For example, things like Sarah Palin's daughter's pregnancy out of wedlock, an even unrelated to Palin's political ideas, have been covered by the media and influenced American voters' opinions of candidates.
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